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as many americans as the president will permit, or we can end up at an impasse that ensures taxes go up on everyone. let us pass this bill. if it does not work, let us pass whatever level the president will agree to. is not as if we have not repeatedly warned him. my conservative colleagues say sparing some people these tax increases is tantamount to racism among others. a lifeguard who sees 10 swimmers drowning, if he can only save nine, that does not mean he has drowned the 10th one. no lifeguard would be worth his pay if he said, my principle is nobody should drowned off my beach. if i cannot save them all, i will not save any. americans watched as thousands of middle-class jobs are sacrifice on the ideological obama next year, this country will be a lot wiser. until then, let's save the weekend. >> the done in's time has expired. >> i am pleased to yield three minutes. >> the gentleman from michigan is recognized for 3 minutes. >> this is an important moment. these bills move the nation dangerously closer to the cliff. with only 11 days before our nation will go over. they make find
the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. >> we've heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws, but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference that was interrupted twice by protesters, the head of the nra. it's the same line we've heard before from the nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of the real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. and they've lurched too far to the right. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff, msnbc political analyst and msnbc contributor jared bernstein. jentle men, president obama tonight said he had spoken with speaker boehner in addition to senate majority leader harry reed. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reed. in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insurance for two million americans and lays the
steps away from the fiscal cliff. the automatic tax increases and spending cuts kick in january 1 unless lawmakers find some common ground. cbs reporter danielle nottingham on what both sides are saying about the looming deadline. >> reporter: congressional leaders met with president obama at the white house, trying to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in january 1. the president reminded lawmakers there's not much time left. >> we're now at the point where, in just four days, every american's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law. >> reporter: senators harry reid and mitch mcconnell returned to the senate floor, pledging to work through the weekend. >> we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation. >> we're gonna do the best we can for the caucuses we have and the country that's waiting for us to make a decision. >> reporter: democratic and republican leaders have agreed to extend jobless benefits and some tax increases. but the income threshol
and then tax hikes on everyone, automatic spending cuts, and no deal reported. the two parties are talking again at least. steve has the latest from capitol hill. >> sources are capitol hill say president obama in today's talks feels he has the advantage back and that he will press on his original demand that income taxes rise on earnings over $250,000. it's a positive sign, the first meeting since mid november the four congressional leaders at the white house. called by president obama, house speaker john boehner is a key figure. >> the fact that he has come back to me says that they cannot come up with some kind of agreement. -- that they can come up with an agreement. >> both sides want to avoid middle-class tax cuts. the hang up is the tax hikes on the rich. those making over $250,000 in the obama reposal or $400,000, a level that mitch mcconnell reportedly said he might be able to sel? republicans won the debate shifted. >> the talk about taxes, but what it should be about is what we want to talk about today -- the medicare fiscal cliff. >> no date to cut a day to reform entitlements
and starting next week, you and i could see our paychecks cut as payroll taxes go up and that could be just the beginning. the clock at the bottom right of your screen there might as well have a blaringa, large on it because come midnight monday if lawmakers have not found the fiscal cliff solution you're going to hear a whole heck of a lot of noise. let's get straight to washington. nbc's kristen welker at the white house and luke russert is tracking developments at capitol hill and nbc news senior political editor mark murray is here to break it down for us from the washington bureau. we will start with kristen. last we heard, kristen welker, the president came out to report that he is modestly optimistic. has the rhetoric changed at all today? >> reporter: it has changed a little bit. the president is still modestly optimistic, but i just spoke with a democratic source who tells me at this hour a deal is looking doubtful. of course, we want to underscore the fact that these negotiations are very fluid so that characterization could change at any moment, but it seems as though the discuss
-down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. the president met with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead, we have heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference, the head of the nchl ra said the solution of gun violence in this country is simple, more guns. armed officers in every school. it is the same line we have heard before from the nra. has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown. what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. they have lurnlged too far to the right. president obama tapped kerry to be the next secretary of state. let me finish with the great new movie about getting bin laden and how one person can make a huge difference. we begin with where things stand on the
. a last minute mini deal could be struck before the end of the year that would preserve tax cuts for the middle class and preserve unemployment benefits. the president raced to the microphones and said the following after this meeting. watch. >> i just had a good and constructive discussion here at the wows with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. >> sean: here is what you need to remember. number one, the whole fed iasco was totally and completely avoidable. number two, senate democrats have not fulfilled their constitutional duty to pass a budget in over three long years. over 13 hyundais. their obsession has been and continues to be ruthless politics over doing what is right for you, the american people. now, number three, not once in the time has president obama demanded that the senate do their job. this is the height of irresponsibility. number four, the presi
and said he was modestly optimistic about a deal on taxes. meeting this the red room, president obama held firm for tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 per year, and joining me on the north lawn of the white house is kristen welker. kristen, let's listen to what the president said about and up or down vote or what he expects from the senate. >> i had a good and constructive discussion here with the leadership about this tax hike on the middle-class. i am optimistic that we can reach an agreement that will be passed in both houses. if an agreement is not reached in time between senator reid and senator mcconnell, then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor and up or down vote for the floor, and i believe a p proposal could pass both houses with majorities as long as the leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. if members of the house or the senate want to vote no, they can. but we should let everybody vote. >> kristen, this up or down vote seems to be be the big news of the day, and isn't this what the white house wanted all along? >> well, it is. it is prp's way of sayi
that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends unemployment to the 2 million americans looking for a job and lays groundwork for more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> just moments ago, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face-to-face closed door meeting at the white house today between all the key players, the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary and all four congressional leaders huddled together with just four days to go before we all go overs fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. on a story where every second and every maneuver counts, let's get chief to white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, the president says he's modestly optimist being but each also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no, they don't, john, because the white house is hopeful that the agreement that the senators are working on can actually move forward after the meeting here. there is a modest uptick in enthusiasm about that poss
package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital life line of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> and just moments ago, senator harry reid says he's readying a bill for a vote by monday. all this follows a rare face to face-closed-door meeting at the white housed to between all the key players. the president, the vice president, the treasury secretary, and all four congressional leaders. huddled together with just four days to go before we all go over the fiscal cliff. that meeting lasted for an hour and five minutes. now on a story where every second and every maneuver counts let's get right to chief white house correspondent increase ka yellin. the president says he's modestly optimistic but he also presented a backup plan. does the president really think it will come to that? >> at this point, no. they don't. because the white house is hopeful, first of all, that the agreement that the senators a
in a speech a week ago which is to keep taxes where they are for families earning less than $250,000 a year and to extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits that is basically just a small slice of what the president had been proposing for quite some time. the administration official also says that the president is putting it on republicans to come up with a counteroffer that they say can pass the house and the senate. if not, the president said, he wants an up-or-down vote on his proposal in the house or the senate. so congressional leaders left here. other than house minority leader nancy pelosi i'm now hearing senate majority leader harry reid has joined her in making comments back at capitol hill. we'll let you know what they say as soon as that is transmitted to us. there are other directed comments they made little progress something they have been saying after the meetings the last few months. adam? >> we're looking to turn around reid's comments so we all can hear them. when you talk about the president he is up-or-down vote, someone referred to this as plan-c. is this the off
, people paycheck get smaller because the payroll taxes expire. people will have to pay in their taxes to a different way. the alternative minimum tax won't be patched and we'll have to be addressed as well. taxes will go up. spending cuts over time will happen as well. i think the stock market will be hit hard. i have the most to lose than anyone i know but the only way to fix the economy. >> eric: president obama wants tax cuts to expire for everyone except those making under $250,000 a year. john boehner plan "b" making $1 million. this looked like president obama coming back with the same deal at 250. they are miles apart. >> kimberly: you were able to speak to people on the hill. what was your reaction? >> andrea: the president spread the stories that he will come to the table with a deal. swan dive off the fiscal cliff, hold your nose. we're going off. president obama wants to us go off hecht will come back with a largeer plan. the obama tax cut. then he will be able to reintate across-the-board sequestration cuts. 8.2% across the board. cut defense and health. they will be able
. fiscal faceoff or new year's resolution. also one tax that will go up. marilyn monroe closely watched by the fbi. director's feud over "django unchained" and a chance for 100 lucky people to star in the super bowl halftime show alongside beyonce'. details on those stories throughout the hour. >>> but up first, right now senate leaders scrambling to find common ground to avoid going over that fiscal cliff. got less than three days to go now, folks. at the same time in his weekly address today, the president says he's preparing a plan of action if no deal is reached. >> if an agreement isn't reached on time, then i'll urge the senate to hold an up or down vote on a basic package that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends vital unemployment insurance for americans looking for a job, and lays the ground work for future progress on more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> republicans say they want a deal as well, but they highlighted their biggest sticking points today in their weekly address. listen now to missouri senator roy blount. >> senate democrats have sp
it will have on almost every american. taxes up, programs cut probably sending us back into a recession. the ball is now clearly with the senate. senator reid and senator mcconnell have the ability to put this together again and pass something. it won't be a big, grand bargain to take care of the total debt, but they can do some things that will avoid the worst consequences going over the fiscal cliff. i've talked to a lot of republican colleagues in the senate who are favorably incl e inclined toward the idea it to protect the middle class from the tax cuts. let's raise taxes on people over 250,000, and let's stop those terrible cuts in defense, homeland security, education, et cetera. >> not much time left. senator, after 24 years in the u.s. senate you are retiring, but you still have work to do. so i'm not going to say good-bye to you now, because i imagine we might speak to you again. >> i told my colleagues they're doing it to make sure those of us retiring this year work every last day of the term. we're going to spend new year's eve here i believe. >> thanks for the cheery note
to avoid the fiscal cliff, which would mean avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts come, you know, 1. the president spoke to the nation this evening after an hour-long meeting with congressional leaders at the white house. democrat and republican leaders have agreed to extend jobless benefits and some tax increases. they appear to remain deadlocked on who exactly will pay those higher taxs. we have two reports tonight, beginning with major garrett at the white house. major, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, jeff. two things are clear tonight that were not clear this morning-- progress is real and if a deal is reached, it will be far smaller than any of the key players envisioned only a couple weeks ago. is this deal, if it's to be reached, will not the so-called grand bargain with trillions of dollars of deficit reduction. in fact, jeff, it's not even clear this deal-- again, if there is one-- would stop the across-the-board spending cuts for the defense department and other government programs. it looks like those cuts will go forward. what the president said today is
-or-down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to 2 million americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. >> reporter: house speaker john boehner was at the white house summit. so far, he's not made a statement about the measures discussed. we're hearing the president does did not float a new deal but reiterated his calls to extend tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 he also wants to extend unemployment benefits for 2 million people and delay $110 billion in sequester cuts and that is a story we'll follow all weekend long. back to you in the studio. >> and thank you very much. >>> essentially, we remain in a stalemate tonight and congress returned yesterday to the senate, the house will be back on monday and they have three days to work it out. >>> and turning our attention to the other big story to the day. snow coming to the d.c. area and should start to see the white stuff coming overnight. gary mcgrady is joining us
families the payroll tax cut that started two years ago is worth around 1000 as year. those families tend to spend that cash because they need it now. republicans say this is one tax cut they hate and the last time it was going to expire, the white house launched a whole campaign about $40 a paycheck. they asked families to send in their stories about what $40 meant to them. well, you know something? $40 a still a lot of cash for the families hit hardest by the great recession. for the wealthy people sitting around the negotiating table in d.c., $40 is just another steak dinner for one. but for many people who voted them into office, it's the cost of groceries for a week of family dinners. let's not forget, they are the ones who still need an economic stimulus, not the families earning more than $250,000 a year. joining me today on a newsy day, "the huffington post" sam stein and the national reviews robert costa. sam, i want to start with you. you have been reporting this out all day, and we know that congressional leaders are with the president this afternoon. they haven't made comments
thought a $250,000 and above extension of the tax -- bush tax cuts could, in fact, pass and he was extremely, extremely angry in ways that you really hear on the senate floor with the speaker of the house. take a listen. >> it's beings operated with a dictatorship of the speaker not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. if the 250 would be brought up, it would pass. >> so harry reid there calling house speaker john boehner a dictator for not bringing a bill to the floor that would extend the bush tax cuts for all those who make less than $250,000 a year. now that bill if it was brought to the house floor would have to pass with democratic votes. speaker boehner has said that he wants to pass something ultimately that can be con by t done by the majority of the majority. >> i don't understand how you can call him a dictator when he can't get his own bill passed. that doesn't make any sense to me. if he was a dictator, he could have done it. >> what we're watching here is a lot of finger pointing. the house side wants the senate to do s
on taxes and spending before the end of the year and they maybe get us into a recession, it's definitely happening. that was the whole point of president obama's press conference this afternoon. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> allow me a quick update here. that press conference, it came after president obama met with john boehner and nancy pelosi and harry reid and mitch mcconnell, so all the key congressional leaders. and listen to the president here. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. well, we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. i just have to repeat. you know,
that would raise taxes, would they allow it to -- and the answer to that is probably not. democrats have alleged for week now what john bain ser doing is waiting until the gavel is safely in his hands for the next congress. that happens on january 3rd, when they formally elect a speaker. that's one theory, but probably the thing that make the most sense is the fact that then it becomes a vote to cut taxes for 98% of americans, instead of allowing them to rise for 1% or 2%. that is something logically the republicans would probably or more likely go along with, though at this point who knows where we'll end up with on this thing. january 3rd is the new congress. in the days after that, that's the inertia it scenario. >> gentlemen, thanks so that. i appreciate it. >>> we want to bring in today's panel s perry bacon, democratic strategy margie omero, and chip saltzmann. i want to talk about with what steve la tourette had to say today being interviewed on cnn. >> this isn't a one party or a one house problem. this is leaders of both parties and all branches of the government not willing to
discussion here at the white house about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. and i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. senators reid and mcconnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. >> it comes after speaker boehner left the white house. he didn't say anything to reporters and neither did anyone else who was seen leaving the meeting. here's what we do know. in just four days, taxes will go up on millions. and millions more will have their vital unemployment benefits run out. that's why president obama organized the meeting with vice president biden, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi and senators reid and mcconnell. he urged them to extend jobless benefits. we can deal with cuts to defense and domestic programs later. but let's take care of the middle and working class right now. give them assurance right now. joining me is congressman chief ellison. he's co-chair of the progressive caucus and melissa harris perry, host of the melissa harris perry show here on msnbc. thank you both for coming on the show. >> thank you,
will lawmakers do to save you from more taxes and fewer benefits? >>> a young woman wins a restraining order against her parents. is this a case of abusive parents or overly entitled child? you won't believe her complaint. >>> and the new year's almost here, the number one resolution, weight loss, of course. the secret to slheding the pouns and keeping them off. >>> it's saturday, december 29th, good morning, i'm alison koski. >> randi and victor are off today. thank you for starting your day off. >> happy to be here. >> we have to talk about money, your money, specifically, and sadly still not good news. >> and it's about the fiscal cliff. negotiations going on this weekend to try and keep from going off the fiscal cliff. the deadline's now just three days away. president obama's modestly optimistic the top democrat and republican in the senate can work things out. jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> alison, christy, hi. well, the good news is, things could have been worse. it does seem those of us watching the sidelines as though time is running out.
the president. this is personal. this has nothing to do with raising taxes. this is a personal attack and i think it's a shame. we look like a third world country. we don't look like the united states. host: let's get a republican voice. our next caller is calling from west bloomfield, michigan, on the republican line. good morning. caller: i would like to get your thoughts on a balanced approach and have unbiased taxation by using a flat tax. that way you can calculate the amount of taxes we need for the deficit over 10 years. another point is to control the spending on entitlements by not giving millionaires social security benefits, thereby satisfying president obama's approach. instead of doing it through taxation, he can do it through the entitlements. guest: those are both ideas that have been raised, especially the social security and medicare benefits for the wealthy and potentially might not need them to live off of. one tricky part of that is wealthier americans have been paying these taxes for decades into social security and medicare if and a lot of folks have a problem with the
the fiscal cliff. what will lawmaker do to save you from more taxes and fewer benefits? >>> the littlest pawns in a political fight. we'll talk to one woman whose hopes for adopting a russian son may have just been shattered. >>> and they're back. kathy griffin and anderson cooper ringing in new year's eve. but why was kathy's make itted on "a.c.'s" -- naked on "a.c.'s" couch? we'll explain. >>> good morning, it's 10:00 on the east coast, 7:00 on the west coast. i'm alison kosik. randi kaye is off today. we're just three days away from possibly crossing over the fiscal cliff. for the first time in weeks, there's some hope coming from washington. senate leaders are negotiating a deal they hope can go to a vote, go to a vote soon. cnn radio capitol hill correspondent lisa desjardins is in washington. you were on thrill yesterday for the political action between president obama, between congressional leaders. they sound more optimistic, at least president obama does. do you think we're any closer to a deal at this point? >> i think there's no doubt that we are closer to a deal, but how much
. john boehner couldn't pass with house republicans the idea of raising taxes only on those making more than a million dollars. the president has insisted throughout that $250,000 had been his limit. it's bumped up to $400,000. but even when they were within just a couple hundred billion dollars, which seems like a lot to you and me but it is not a lot in the language of washington, then they went opposite directions an enwhere the political particular sis stands at this moment. >> all right. peter and alexander, thank you good sir. joining me now karen bass of california. congresswoman, good to see you and nice to see you there from the capitol. you are still in california because house members, again, haven't been called back and given the 48-hour notice to my knowledge. have you? >> exactly. i have flights scheduled every day waiting for that notice to come. i think it is a shame. i think the house should be back in business in d.c. right now. the senate's in session. there's no reason for us to be at home. >> i want play another one of senator reid's comments leveled at speaker boeh
. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin next week. there's just one problem. it appears there would be no house republicans to help hammer out a deal. the gop leadership has not yet called their members back to d.c. and will not be in session tomorrow for legislative business. according to one gop aide, they felt it's up to the democrats to act now. so the christmas spirit has not softened actions. but what has softened? customer confidence
reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up, that unemployment insurance is still available for 2 million people, and that lays the groundwork then for additional deficit reduction and economic growth steps that we can take in the new year. but let's not miss this deadline. that's the bare minimum that we should be able to get done. >> majority leader reid is ready to follow through on an up or down vote. reid said in a statement -- "at president obama's request, i am readying a bill for a vote by monday that will prevent a tax hike on middle class families, making up to $250,000, and that will include the additional critical provisions outlined by president obama." president obama pointed out the danger of inaction. >> the economy is growing, but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs. the housing market is recovering, but that could be impacted if folks are seeing smaller paychecks. the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008. but already, you're seeing businesses and cons
-- there are many -- if we do go over the cliff that would reset all of the tax issues suchissues. what we do know, the clock is ticking and the waiting game continues, with the house not even scheduled to be in session until sunday afternoon. live of the capitol, steve chenevey wjla. >> will monitor all the negotiations surrounding the fiscal cliff. coming up at 5:30, a closer look at how the country got in this financial situation in the first place. >> we're learning more tonight about a robber turned police pursuit that ended with a vehicle crashed into a metro bus. happen at the intersection of wheeler and southern avenues in southeast washington. >> that accident happening here at this intersection of wheeler road and southern ave. it is a very busy intersection. it happened very early this morning. authorities say this all began much, much earlier. >> this is the scene at southern avenue and wheeler road in southeast d.c. after police say this stolen car slammed into a metro bus. >> at what point will they realize that you need to think about what you do before you do it? in the end you can
in a search for an 11th hour deal to prevent severe tax hikes and spending cuts from automatically kicking in with the new year. cnn's chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is getting new details. jess can ka, what are you hearing about that meeting? >> reporter: candy, the president is going to explain or reiterate the position he took on friday, that he would like a plan that extends tax rates for people who make $250,000 and below but raises them for those who make more than that. that it extends unemployment benefits for americans. and if the president, i'm told will say if he does not get an agreement to that plan, he will ask the other leaders what they can agree to, what what they would like instead. if they cannot come up with a proposal that will pass the house and the senate, will ask for a vote on his measure. but that meeting, candy, is still going on. congre congressional leaders arrived at the white house for a last-ditch meeting just days before a new year's deadline. back on the hill, pressure to break the stalemate. >> we've got to demonstrate we have some capacit
the american people out of the line of fire in terms of taxes. >> it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> i have never known john boehner not to have a plan. >> it seems pretty dark right now. >> it looks like there's no way there's going to be any deal done. >> so i say to the speaker, take the escape hatch we've left you. >> we're not going to get anything done that doesn't involve some measure of compromise. >> it's not 100% sure that's going to work any longer, and now that we know how fanatical the fanatics are. >> it's like blah, blah, blah. >>> a very busy day here in washington and we want to take you right to the senate floor where senator mitch mcconnell is actually speaking about the fiscal cliff. let's take a listen. >> we'll see what the president has to propose. members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we'll decide how best to proceed. hopefully, there's still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly, wholly preventable economic crisis. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> the majority leader. >> i'm not
the cliff. i'm. patti ann: i'm patti ann browne. they will try to avoid the across the board tax hikes for 90% of the american households and deep spending cuts. so far little to no progguess has been reported. gregg: chief white house correspondent ed henry is in the white us. ed, what do we expect out the meeting if any at all? our expectations are a little bit low. >> reporter: you're exactly right, gregg, expectations have to be low. lawmakers of both parties in conjunction with the president have missed one deadline after another. we have been saying for a couple weeks they had to get moving get this completed before christmas in order to give the house and senate time to debate and end up voting on whatever package they come up with. now that we're days away from actually going off the fiscal cliff where these automatic massive spending cuts as well as large tax increases got into effect you have to have low expectations. it appears the white house is very confident in waiting for the republicans to make the next move. they keep saying inside the white house this is up to the rep
their tax bill for 2013 will look like right now. at some point you have to say, this is what it is. i only have so many years until i retire. risk is part of the game. this is what i am willing to invest. what is your best bet? >> there is no dow that energy stocks, to me, we are seeing the spikes in oil prices today. lori: you are basically saying try to raise some cash during this last week. that could be your fine opportunity. >> right. you have to think back at what these companies are saved. they are not overly optimistic. they were not doing back flips about the future. sometimes waiting is the best investment strategy that there is. you have to begin to see whether they will begin to grow. most companies have to face the facts. most companies are making money because of cost-cutting. i think we have to really look at ways to just be ready. the best place to be -- lori: lean and mean. cash is, well, i guess that is why you had a debate. i guess i can hold on for two weeks. >> i agree. they are lean and mean. every quarter, they are cutting more and cutting more. now, we are at the po
about, as the president describes the so-called bush tax rates to be maintained for the middle class, he was not clear i think by intention of saying exactly what that dollar threshold was. is it the $250,000 number that's been out there for months? the $400,000 number that he apparently put on the table as late as last weekend? some other number? >> i think eamon presumed he was referring to $250,000. so you would raise taxes above $250,000, and talk about spending cuts later. i don't see how that will ever get through the house. isn't that where we started? >> at this point, who is going to vote for that? once you as a republican vote for that, how do you have leverage later on ever in the negotiations? >> i think that sets up if they get the basic plan through the senate on democratic votes only and send that plan to the house, what that sets up is a failure of the plan in the house, because that's not something republicans said they could support in the past. what that would do you do is set up a situation where democrats are daring republicans on the last day of the deadline to vote
the tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in next week. keith russell with more on the budget talks that ended about 45 minutes away. >> jim, the meeting started at 3:10 and ended at 4:15. the four congressional leaders left without speaking to the media. with $600 billion in tax hikes set to take effect new year's day. senior advisers said the president was set to make a small offer with the full support of reid and pelosi. nbc news has learned that a previous offered made by the president, the one that involved a tax increase for only those earning more than $400 is off the table. advisers say that was part of a bigger proposal that speaker boehner did not accept. it looks like the current proposal goes back to raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000. the proposal known as plan b didn't work. it will remain to be seen if the smaller plan will. either way the countdown to the if you year could be very costly. >> i'm hopeful that a deal will avoid the worst parts of a fiscal live cliff. >> the tax increases need to be averted, avoided. they can be. i think in the end we'l
the taxes on 98% of the american people to go up. >> richard wolf, you are in washington d.c., the capital of incompetent this morning. >> yeah. >> senator reid used a phrase that has nothing to do with being a republican or democrat at this stage, i don't think, for a lot of people. the phrase he used is the american people don't understand blah, blah, blah what's going on. the american people i would submit don't understand how these people cannot do their jobs that they're elected to. so i'm wondering what's your take on what's going on in washington? you're sitting in washington. >> right. the at least we have bipartisan agreement it's all nuts, right? everyone agrees this is ridiculous and in spite of what they say, they've been talking about it for months and years and there was ample talk about what a framework should be through the election, which wasn't that long ago. there's plenty of debate. to tie the two stories we have been talking wiabout together, there was a colin powerful doctrine that general schwartzkopf executed so well in the first gulf war. which was have an exit str
hawaii for washington, and the senate is reconvening today. now the automatic spending cuts and the tax increases that make up the fiscal cliff, they're set to take effect in just five days. much more on the fiscal cliff crisis, the effort to reach some kind of agreement later this hour. we're going go live to capitol hill for the latest as the senate returns to work. that is coming up in about 20 minutes. >>> and president obama's going to have another cabinet position to fill for the new year. we learned a short time ago apa lisa jackson is stepping down after the president's state of the union speech in january. jackson starting with the agency as a staff level scientist back in 1987. during her tenure as administrator she tackled pollution problems in poor community communities. oil drilling and coal regulations. all those things on her plate. jackson said she is confident epa is headed in the right direction. >>> winter storm causing some real headaches. millions of folks in the mid-atlantic states, we're looking at heavy snow, torrential rain, strong winds, dangerous travel condit
at the period following the december 31st deadline we're told to come up with a fix to avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts, affect lives of nearly every american many economists say could plunge the economy into another recession. chief white house correspondent ed henry live with the latest. so in this meeting, ed, is there any hope they will accomplish anything? >> reporter: well it is pretty low expectations, jon. what we're expecting when you talk to top officials of both parties the president will offer a scaled back plan, something he laid out lines friday before christmas here in the white house briefing room before he went to hawaii. where he said look, we have to scale back expectations. basically just extend middle class tax cuts. don't worry about the rates for everyone else. secondly extend unememployment insurance for about two million people who will be losing it a few days from now at the end of the year. finally he refer to possibility of smaller bit ever spending cuts. not major entitlement rerecall to. not major cuts to medicare like had been on the table in so-called p
spending cuts, provide the unemployment benefits and still cut taxes for most americans. but it sounds like reid doesn't want to get played here. he says he's going to only bring that bill to the floor if the house agrees to work with him on final passage. the house couldn't deliver a vote on the last republican plan so that condition seems like a deal breaker. but tom cole, the number four house republican says sometimes the real imagine ek happens in the bottom of the ninth. >> i'm going to be on an airplane tomorrow headed back. i actually think there's still a chance to get something done. and so, you know, these deals usually come together at the last moment. that's what happened in the budget bill, the debt ceiling bill. i think that's going to happen again. >> joining me from capitol hill is mike viqueira. thanks for being here. >> hey. >> you heard congressman cole there, number four house republican, deputy whip. he knows a bit about this. is he just trying to sound sort of positive? what do you take from that on the ground? >> i don't think that tom cole has the constituency, alth
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